A metal expansion kit developed with BASF Forward AM’s acknowledged expertise in the field

Remember? In our review of the year 2021, we told you that metal FDM 3D printing would be a trend that will continue to gain momentum throughout 2022 with more FDM 3D printer manufacturers develop solutions for this field. 

Ultimaker, the Dutch OEM that recently merged with MakerBot, is one of the companies that just confirmed the veracity of this trend by unveiling a Metal Expansion Kit. As its FDM 3D printer manufacturers counterparts, the machine manufacturer aims to make metal 3D printing more accessible and affordable.

Users of its 3D printing platforms could now produce applications capable of high mechanical stress and thermal resistance, which is said to be difficult – even impossible – to achieve with high-performance thermoplastics.

The Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit comes with the entire package: software features, materials that are automatically recognized by the printer through NFC, knowledge to maximize process efficiency and enhanced Ultimaker printer capabilities. Best part of it? It’s possible to switch between printing plastics and metal on one machine. The technology is powered by Ultimaker Cura, Ultimaker’s powerful and easy-to-use slicing software, and is compatible with the Ultimaker S5 Platform.

 “The Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit is especially suitable for printing non-of-the-shelf parts such as tools, jigs and fixtures, replacement parts, functional prototypes and auxiliary components. The Kit provides access to a complete and validated 3D printing workflow on an open platform that offers competitive quality and lead times normally only accessible with full in-house metal fused filament fabrication (MFFF) solutions at a much higher total cost of ownership. Thanks to the low total cost of ownership and savings up to 90% over small series of not-standard auxiliary components and tools, our early adopters are already realizing return-on-investment (ROI) in less than a year”, Andrea Gasperini, Product Manager at Ultimaker comments. 

Ever since it unveiled the first metal filament of the industry, BASF Forward AM cemented its expertise in delivering the right resources for making metal FDM 3D printing a reality. The company plays a pivotal role in the development of this new Kit as the latter includes all required items for metal parts preparation from printing to accessing post-processing services, access to exclusive Ultimaker 3D Printing Academy content – developed together with the team of BASF Forward AM and access to the BASF Debinding and Sintering Order Management Portal.

The launch of the Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit is accompanied by the release of a MFFF dedicated Ultimaker Cura 5.1 version that brings the extensive set of features needed to prepare metal parts on the Ultimaker Platform, the company says.

Firat Hizal, Head of Metal Systems at BASF Forward AM states: “This unique all-in-one bundle by Ultimaker unlocks the Metal 3D printing on open desktop platforms like Ultimaker S5, makes MFFF more accessible and affordable. With all the necessary components and accessories in the kit, it facilitates for users switching between printing plastics and metal parts back-to-back, and helps them throughout the process step by step from a to z. We are happy to complement this kit with our Ultrafuse® filaments and to offer a simplified post-processing step at a competitive price through our Debinding &Sintering partners located in different regions”.  

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